on being put “in a box”

For as long as I can remember, I can’t stand the idea of being put “in a box”. Especially as of late, it’s been coming up a lot for me. I can’t fathom the idea of being constrained, limited, restrained, under-stimulated–you name it.

The very idea of it makes me squirm, tense up, and react. It’s a matter of fight and flight. I’m tellin’ ya—I’m comin’ swinging, and then I’m runninnnnn’.

It can actually be quite comical. Who am I kidding, it can also be quite obvious (& unbecoming). It’s as if I think no one else in the room can catch on to the internal churning and kicking and screaming that’s occurring.

I don’t even like fitness classes where I’m being told to move when and with everyone else. I want to move like only I know how. I don’t want to wait in line, I don’t want to be tripping on the heels of slow walkers, I’m more likely be found ‘slicing and dicing’ through the crowd; mind  on the destination. I can even be found driving too closely and too mindlessly than I’ll ever care to admit (hello!).

So ya,  I can be a little strong-willed. I get it!!! I just don’t like to wait for doors to open, I want to charge on through. 

For years, I’ve considered this “being put in a box” issue a ‘character flaw’, a ‘tragic destiny’, my ‘inner rebel’, my ‘inner monster’, or ‘free spirited side’. I’ve berated myself for this inability to be constrained. I’ve isolated myself in feeling like, “no one gets methey couldn’t possibly understand“.

Then, one recent morning while browsing a Joyce Meyer devotional, my gaze suddenly locked on the page and all I could think was, YES. That’s it. 

“When you are living in a place that keeps you from being who you were made to be and doing what you are meant to do, you will be uncomfortable, too. But also realize the people around you may not understand your desire to break out of the box. They may try to clip your wings. When others are questioning you, something inside of you may also start to ask “What is wrong with me? Why do I think as I think? Why do I feel this way? Why can’t I just settle down and live a normal life like everyone else?”

The reason you cannot settle down is because you are an eagle! You will never feel at home in a chicken yard, because you were made for something bigger, more beautiful, and more fulfilling.

You’re an eagle. One that longs for the clear, blue, open skies. Not a chicken stuck in a barnyard.

You were created that way. 

Now here’s where it gets tricky. Your destiny–your “clear, blue, open sky” might not be here today, but your choosing to live into it can be. 

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Someone once told me, the burdens of your heart don’t always necessitate timing. God hears and knows the desires of your heart. He put them there and He’s going to fulfill them. Maybe not today and maybe not in the way you’d think.

“God likes to walk things out with us, he doesn’t always just wave a wand. He wants a relationship with us. To build our trust, our strength, our conversations with him. He wants to talk it out–to show us why what we’re going through is there.” (Steve Kelly)

Our desire and longing is a God-given beautiful thing, it’s not our own design.

Life is a cycle of breakthroughs and breakdowns and the quicker you come to terms with that, the more freeing it becomes.

The reality is, we’re going to shrink after we expand.

Yesterday’s breakthrough is today’s ego trip.

We’re never done growing.

No one just arrives at the top, they constantly climb. 

For those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as e a g l e s. {Isaiah 40:31}

Trust me, I get it. Passion, desire, perseverance, can all be a great thing, And being a fighter has served me well at times. It’s pulled me out of depression and disordered eating, away from toxic people, and it’s saved me from ever fully investing in the wrong relationships. It’s given me a spirit of survival and conviction.

But what I’ve also been learning, is when I’m doubting that the desires of my heart could ever possibly be, when I’m resisting, justifying, and excuse-making, I stop waiting and starting forcing my way to what I want. I start lowering my standards, giving less, and accepting less in return.

So rather than breaking down walls around me by listening not only for what I want, but also what He’s written, I’m only further boxing myself up. Live this way, and forever “in a box”, caged like a chicken, I’ll remain.

It’s about moving from chicken to eagle mentality, right where you are.

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Because the truth is, God sees e v e r y t h i n g. He’s always in control. There are things going on behind the scenes–outside of the box, if you will, that we just don’t see right now.

This truth, His truth, is always the compass that points me back north.

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Because when you “seek Jesus first with everything you do and with everything you’ve got” (Connor Parker), there is nothing more f r e e i n g. The message itself is timeless. Universal. Flawless.

Faith isn’t a clichè, feel-good, hopeful, tossed around word, but a living and breathing act of surrender. There is as much madness as there is magic in the chaos. There is so much beauty and strength in the disorder. There is so much have in the have not. There is overwhelming peace in presence. And there will always be power in spite of pain.

There’s something incredibly powerful about seeking wholeheartedly after the word and things of God. Fear is removed, faith is actualized, and an experiential knowledge of His existence becomes catapulted into your mind, body, and soul.

Yes, catapaulted. Smacked in the face by the spirit. You will never see things the same way again. 

That’s what it means to be f r e e. That’s what it means to live outside of the box. That’s what it means to be born again. It’s through this ever-growing relationship with our maker that we begin not even knowing the old ‘you’ that once was. You’ll being wondering how it was ever even possible to think the things you thought or to feel as desperate as you once did.

So no, it’s not about being placed “in a box” but about “awakening, opening our eyes to see the intention of our story and learning to favor the feeling of a fire knocking on the door inside us, instead of stuffing it out” (-Darling Magazine).

I’m more confident than ever that God’s given me a voracious hunger for growth and achievement, not to change it, but to understand where it’s truly coming from and what it’s really for.

“Fan the flame inside of you. Fan it until it burns brightly. Never give up on the greatness for which you were created, never try to hide your uniqueness, and never feel you cannot do what you believe you were made to do. Realize that your hunger for adventure is God-given; wanting to try something new is a wonderful desire, and embracing life and aiming high is what you were made for.” (Joyce Meyer)

Choosing to let yourself to feel put “in a box” is like capping and suffocating your own flame. Give no one the power over your light.

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Lift your eyes, tear the top off,  and see the world as an open heaven, a one-way flow of life-giving oxygen being sent back and forth between you and God–He who lives in you.

That is what becomes available to you through the Holy Spirit.

There will be plenty of times where people come slamming down on your flame. You have to fight for those moments to keep it alive–through let down, disappointment, fear, doubt, anxiety, restlessness, discontent, impatience, and even…a bruised or clammoring ego.

Being put in a box is like a kind of personal death. Not physically of course, but in terms of your dreams and desires. Your enthusiasm and zest for life dies.

Why? 

Because we shrink back from pressing into all God has PROMISED for us.

“Jesus, Who is THE Leader and THE Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]” (Hebrews 12:2).

Be thankful for the moments and areas of your life where you start to feel boxed in. It reveals an area that needs to be dealt with in Him. “If you want God’s direction you will need to be able to accept His correction” (Jude Fouquier).

It is through these encounters that we are strengthened and build resistance. Think about a trick birthday candle–how it always bounces back even after you try to blow it out.

It’s relentless.

This is how we rise above and live free.

You were created for adventure. Choose to live into it.

“God not only sees where you are, He sees where you can be. He not only sees what you have done, He sees what you will do with His help.”

So, no, I wasn’t created to be put in a box.

And neither were you.

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Let’s continue living outside of every single wall that’s placed in front of us–faithfully, vulnerably, authentically, and most importantly–lovingly.

“When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more that anything else, you won’t be disappointed.” (Jeremiah 29:13-14).

-K.V

3 Comments

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  1. good article

    Like

  2. Beautifully written. Love the ending verse in Jeremiah! It’s truth!! 💛

    Like

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